First are you sure that you are suited to a home exchange? Why not check out vacation rentals by owners first as there are a lot of similarities. Almost all will apply to doing a swap with your home and more. The difference, of course, is that someone will be staying in your home. Are you going to be o.k with a stranger using your things and sleeping in your bed?
If you know this is something you would be interested in then the first step is to decide how you will find those other home swappers out there.
Some people use classifieds print or internet, some people go for the free exchange sites.
These are probably a little more work and you will have fewer places to choose from.
The larger organizations charge a fee, but it is well worth it as they may have a lot more listings.
I use homeexchange.com as they have thousands of listings from around the world. The charge is small compared to renting a hotel or even an apartment. They had an offer when I joined that if you don’t make an exchange the first year for whatever reason the second year is free. Check and see if they still have it.
Post pictures of your home. Tell them a bit about yourself, your house or condo, area, and neighborhood. There are lots of prompts and spaces to fill in to help you with this. Make sure the pictures really reflect your home and the way it will look when they arrive. No surprises.
Or are you open to possibilities for a destination? I find that if you are rigid about your requirements it may take a bit more time.
Start searching months before your vacation date.
One way is to do a reverse search to find out who wants to visit your area. This works really well if you live in a popular vacation destination, but you will be surprised even if you are not. Check this out, because if they already want to go to your area then you know for sure that they are good prospects.
If no one is specifically looking for your part of the world, make sure you let them know what is great about it, in your description.
If they are looking for your destination great but if not you will have to sell them on why they may like to use your home.
Homeexchange.com has a very user-friendly site. You can sort listings in various ways and save your likes and send a group of emails at once.
Write a short nice email and tick about 50 to 100 people to send it to for quick results. This is the fastest way to get a good home exchange if you are in an average home and area. Then use a little patience for the answers to come in. Try for an equal exchange but if your place is larger or nicer than what you need you definitely will have a better chance. Maybe your lucky and you have a sought after location.
When you make your decision you should write as soon as possible to let them know that you are interested. Be honest don’t lead them on if you are really not interested you don’t want to get someone’s hopes up only to disappoint.
Remember you’re on your own. The only thing the exchange service might provide is suggestions and forms.
They have lots of information on how to make a good home exchange and you should search there site as it can be really helpful.